Wednesday, January 07, 2009

RTN Using National Feed; CBS Pulls Password on Sundays, Rules Back on Mondays in March

The other day we gave you an update on what is happening at RTN (Retro Television Network). On Sunday morning, many RTN affiliates had an on-screen message saying the contract with Equity has expired. Then shortly after RTN resumed programming or was replaced totally. On Equity-owned stations, like in Buffalo, RTN has been replaced totally with other programming. RTN was once owned by Equity, but was sold to Luken Communications in June. Equity's contract to distribute RTN had been extended a week past its Dec. 24 expiration date but Dec. 24 also was the deadline on Equity's option to buy back RTN from current owner Luken Communications. Equity is no longer allowed to air the RTN programs on its stations, including WNGS in Buffalo. However, an Equity spokesperson said it eventually might be able to bring the RTN programs back to the Equity stations.
For non-Equity stations, RTN is now using its national feed to program RTN. RTN stations had their own local feed, but due to this Equity fiasco, RTN made a sooner-than-expected flash cut to a new master control and uplink center in Chattanooga, Tenn. By 9 a.m. Sunday, it was able to restore service to most of their stations (not Equity-owned stations, of course) with national feeds.
So what is the schedule like for this national feed? I suggest you take a look at the national feed schedule we posted, so you know what is going to air. Now there are reports that RTN is way off time right now airing shows up to 20 minutes late, so be aware of that. This national feed might be good for some stations because they will get programs that weren't on their local feed. Until this is resolved, RTN will have this national feed to all of its stations. It could be up until today or last the rest of the month or longer, so no idea right now. But it will be nice to see Munsters Today and Harry and the Hendersons on Sunday morning for those stations who didn't get those! If this conflict is still going on Sunday, that is.
There were only four major Equity-owned RTN stations that RTN lost: Little Rock; Buffalo, N.Y.; Panama City, Fla.; and Spokane, Wash. They account for less than 1 percent of the nation's TV households, a small fraction of the network's total reach, which now hovers around 40 percent. In any event, the lost affiliates will be replaced quickly by new affiliates.
RTN won't be allowed to air original programming that Equity had produced such as the late night series Unreliable Sources and Closing Remarks, so total classic TV fans are happy about that, I'm sure.
Equity also refused to transfer RTN's website to RTN. So fans looking for RTNville.com, the website is now MyRetroTV.com. On some stations, RTN is calling themselves MyRetroTV, as well. Will this fiasco force them to change their name, too? We shall see. I'm trying to get in touch with RTN (Mark and Neal if you're reading, please contact me!), and we hope to reach them soon. Due to all of this, their contact info has changed. We hope to try and sit down with them to get you all the information you need. Maybe another Seven Questions interview? We'll try!

CBS has altered its Sunday schedule for the next three weeks. They have pulled Million Dollar Password. The show was originally scheduled for its final two new episodes on Jan. 11 and 25. The show has been doing decent in total viewers but lagging in the adult 18-49 demo. This Sunday (January 11) a special 60 Minutes will air at 8pm following an NFL playoff game from 4-8pm. On Sunday, January 18, CBS will air an all-new episode of The Mentalist on a special night & time at 10pm ET (7pm PT) following the NFL AFC Championship Game from 6-10pm ET. The Mentalist will air immediately following the game on ALL time zones. So 9pm CT, 8pm MT and 7pm PT. In Mountain and Pacific zones, a repeat of The Unit will follow 9pm MT and 8pm PT. Pacific time will have local programming after the repeat of The Unit. Finally, on Sunday, January 25, Million Dollar Password will be replaced with an all-new Cold Case at a special time of 8pm, leading into the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie from 9-11pm.
So what does this mean for Million Dollar Password? The following week is the Super Bowl, so it is not likely a new episode will air against that. It can't air on Feb. 8 because of the Grammy Awards and then starting Feb. 15 The Amazing Race returns to the slot. So looks like it will not return to Sundays anytime soon. What about Thursdays at 8? They have repeats scheduled thru January 22, but nothing has been booked for January 29 and Feb. 5, so the two final episodes can air then maybe? Survivor returns Feb. 12. I do expect these two episodes to air but not sure exactly when yet. We'll let you know.
Meanwhile, CBS has announced it will return sitcom Rules of Engagement on Monday, March 2 following Two and a Half Men at 9:30pm ET/PT. Worst Week will finish its 16 episodes on Feb. 9 and we won't know probably if that show will return next season until upfront in May. It doesn't look too promising, though. CBS will air repeats on Feb. 16 and 23 of other CBS comedies likely until Rules launches.
View our full CBS schedule updates.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July)

The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy Maude - The Complete Fifth Season Workaholics - Season Six Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season

06/14 - Ballers - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
06/14 - The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy
06/14 - The League - The Complete Series
06/14 - Maude - The Complete Fifth Season
06/14 - Survivor's Remorse - The Complete Second Season
06/21 - Workaholics - Season Six
06/24 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
06/28 - Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series
07/08 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/12 - Grady - The Best of Grady
07/26 - Family Mattters - The Complete Seventh Season
07/26 - Where's Huddles? - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 28

The Big Bang Theory - "The Fermentation Bifurcation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The gang goes to a wine bar and runs into Penny’s old boyfriend, Zack (Brian Thomas Smith). Also, Bernadette gets stuck spending the evening with Sheldon when she can’t go wine tasting with the group, and things don’t go as planned when Koothrappali introduces his new girlfriend, Claire (Alessandra Torresani).

Life in Pieces - "Hair Recital Rainbow Mom" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When John starts feeling old, he attempts to make himself look younger, much to the dismay of his family. Also, Heather worries that Sophia’s piano recital will be a disaster; Jen, Greg and Lark go to an over-the-top birthday party full of overachieving parents who make them panic about getting Lark into a good preschool; and Matt meets Colleen’s mother, Mia (Mercedes Ruehl).

Best Friends Whenever - "Girl Code" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Barry is too busy to help Shelby build her website so she takes matters in to her own hands; Cyd and Naldo win a boat and try to hide it in the backyard.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 25)

Thursday, July 28

  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Watch Will on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Abbi and Ilana are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Eric Andre (Man Seeking Woman/2 Broke Girls/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Eric appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) and Nick Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Demi and Nick perform Carpool Karaoke on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jillian Bell (Workaholics/Eastbound & Down) - Jillian appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Commnity) - Gillian is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight. She will also be on Chelsea on Netflix.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Christina Applegate (Up All Night/Samantha Who?/Married with Children) - Christina is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS. She will also be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) - Selena appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi is a guest on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sarah Chalke (Scrubs/Roseanne) - Sarah appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Anson Williams (Happy Days) - Anson is a guest on a repeat of The Doctors, so check your local listings.
  • Anna Gunn (Down the Shore) - Anna talks about her new movie Equity on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • The Cast of Bad Moms) - Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate and others will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Ashley Tisdale (Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Ashley talks about her latest project Amateur Night on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Victoria Justice (Victorious/Zoey 101) - Victoria is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Ashley Williams (The Jim Gaffigan Show/Good Morning, Miami) - Ashley is a guest on People Now at 8:30am.